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ASHLEY LAMERS AND IN A DREAM TAKE TOP HONORS IN SMALL REGULAR HUNTER PONY CHAMPIONSHIP AT 2017 USEF PONY FINALS

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The 2017 USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm continued on Thursday with another champion unveiled. Ashley Lamers and In A Dream came away with the Small Regular Hunter Pony Championship. The pair garnered a total score of 1007.88, moving to the top from the 17th position following Thursday’s final Over Fences phase.

Lamers (Caledonia, Wis.) and Lindsey Ayres’ 10-year-old Welsh Pony mare put in a superb round in the Over Fences phase to score a 255.12, second place in the phase. On Wednesday, she and In A Dream received scores of 255.50 and 242.14 in the Model and Under Saddle phases, respectively. Lamers has been riding “Shadow” for about two months, and the two enjoyed their win today. Watch Lamers’ Over Fences round here.

“We got all the correct strides today,” said Lamers. “I thought [the round] went really good. The plan was long, and it was hard to remember, but I got through. It’s been a really fun time [at Pony Finals].”

The Reserve Champion title went to Georgia Schmidt (Lutherville, Md.) and Millpond Patchwork, with a final score of 994.90. She and the 17-year-old Welsh Pony cross mare owned by CMJ Sporthorse, LLC, scored 254 in the Over Fences phase, placing fifth. They climbed from the 40th position after the first two phases, earning 245.25 in the Model phase and 241.65 in the Under Saddle phase.

Emma Hechtman (Tampa, Fla.) and Sir Dragon narrowly finished third with a total score of 994.62. They came into Thursday’s Over Fences phase in 18th place after posting scores of 246.65 and 250.57 in the Model and Under Saddle phases. She and Emily Elek-Burtard’s 13-year-old Welsh Pony gelding finished with a score of 248.700, placing eighth, in the Over Fences phase.

Similar to last year, Augusta Iwasaki (Calabasas, Calif.) leads in the Medium Green Pony Hunter Championship presented by Sallee Horse Vans, and Adam Edgar (Leesburg, Va.) holds the top spot in the Large Green Hunter Pony Championship after the first two phases of competition. Iwasaki and Foxmor Secret Powers, Rendezvous Farm’s six-year-old Welsh cross gelding, own first place at the moment with scores of 263.96 in the Model phase, placing first, and 258.00 in the Under Saddle phase, placing second, for a total of 521.96. Libbie Gordon (Statesville, N.C.) and All Yours, Jessie Spade’s 11-year-old Warmblood gelding, follow with a total score of 509.05. They placed fifth in both phases, scoring a 253.05 in the Model phase, and 256 in the Under Saddle phase. Alexa Lignelli (New York, N.Y.) and her own eight-year-old Weser-EMS Pony gelding iApprove complete the top three with a total score of 508.80. They earned a score of 249.80 in the Model phase for 11th place and placed first in the Under Saddle phase with a score of 259.

Edgar and D’Artagnan, Graciela Robert’s seven-year-old German Riding Pony gelding, have the early lead with scores of 258.21 in the Model phase and 268.17 in the Under Saddle phase, placing fifth and first in each phase, respectively. The pair finished the day with an overall total of 526.38. Kat Fuqua (Atlanta, Ga.) and her own Chic In Time, a 10-year-old Dutch Riding Pony, sit in second with a total of 522.45. They earned seventh place in the Model phase with a score of 255.66 and second in the Under Saddle phase with a score of 266.79. Claire Campbell (Cochranville, Pa.) and Eastside, the six-year-old German Riding Pony mare she owns with the Maher Family LLC, are in third with 515.7. They earned second place in the Model phase with a score of 260.50 and 11th place in the Under Saddle Phase with a score of 255.23.

National titles are determined following three phases of competition, with Model and Under Saddle phases each counting towards 25% of the overall score and the remaining 50% being determined by the Over Fences phase.

USEF Network will continue its coverage of USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm on Friday beginning at 7:00 a.m. EST with the Model and Under Saddle phases of the Medium Regular Hunter Pony Championship presented by Sallee Horse Vans. The live stream is only available to US Equestrian members.

Find out more information about the 2017 USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm at www.ponyfinals.org.

Keep up with the 2017 USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm on Facebook (@USequestrian, @USEFNetwork, and @USEFPonyFinals), Instagram, and Twitter (@USequestrianand @USEFNetwork) for all the latest from the ring and behind the scenes.

Article by Dana Rossmeier / Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography